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Proceedings Paper

13 bits per incident photon optical communications demonstration
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Paper Abstract

Minimizing the mass and power burden of a laser transceiver on a spacecraft for interplanetary optical communications links drives requires operation in a “photon starved” regime. The relevant performance metric in the photon starved regime is Photon Information Efficiency (PIE) with units of bits per photon. Measuring this performance at the detector plane of an optical communications receiver, prior art has achieved performance levels around one bit per incident photon using pulse position modulation (PPM). By combining a PPM modulator with greater than 75 dB extinction ratio with a tungsten silicide (WSi) superconducting nanowire detector with greater than 83% detection efficiency we have demonstrated an optical communications link at 13 bits per incident photon.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 March 2013
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8610, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXV, 861006 (19 March 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2007000
Show Author Affiliations
William H. Farr, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
John M. Choi, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Bruce Moision, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8610:
Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXV
Hamid Hemmati; Don M. Boroson, Editor(s)

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